News & Notes

By: hartsea on: December 04, 2012 3:49 pm | hartsea

I always feel one of the joys of reading is that it is a quiet solitary activity.  It can be a chance to reflect and to escape into another world.  Still it can be a lot of fun to share your reading experiences with other people.  The following list are online tools and social media outlets for sharing what you are reading and to learn what others are learning.

First there's the really fun #fridayreads hashtag on Twitter.  You simply post whatever you are reading on Friday with the hashtag #fridayreads.  You can then search the hashtag and see what other people are reading too.  You can find out more on their website.  You can also join their Facebook page.

You can get involved with the community at GoodReads.  There you can post what you've already read, what you are reading at any given time and how far along you are in the book, and what you would like to read.  You can also follow friends and authors.  There are online book clubs, book recommendations, and book lists.  There is also Shelfari and LibraryThing.  They each have a slightly different focus, but they do encourage communities of book lovers.

There are also online groups and projects that you can participate in.  One example is Book Drum, an interactive crowd-sourced literary world map.  Another fun project is BookCrossing. Basically you register and label a book you own through their website.  Then you share the book by giving it to someone or leaving it somewhere.  After that you can follow the book as it gets passed along.  You could also participate in World Book Night in April.  In this program 30 books are chosen every year.  Then people can sign up to personally hand out 20 copies of a particular title in their community.  The goal is to hand out books to people who are either light or non-readers. 

There are a lot of great book blogs that you can follow and comment on.  Here are some recommendations: The Book Lady's Blog, Omnivoracious, Three Guys One Book, and Book Riot (my personal favorite).  You can also look to see if your favorite author maintains a blog.  For example, John Green actively engages with his readers on his website.

Here's an interesting article about Facebook Apps that you might want to check out.

These book tools are less about sharing what you read and more about receiving suggestions on other things to read: Book Lamp 5 Websites That Alert Book Lovers About New Book Releases, and Reading suggestion engines: Your next read.

I hope this post has given you some inspiration on how to read socially!  Happy reading!

By: tullykk on: November 19, 2012 1:39 pm | tullykk

Though glittering red and green decorations and lights are already on display in the stores and holiday music is filling up the airwaves (and our iPods), the Christmas season is still weeks away.  It seems like between Halloween and the winter holiday season, Thanksgiving is only a brief stop on our festive march to New Year's Eve.  There are hardly any songs about the holiday and, let's face it, the turkey isn't very marketable; it's not as scary as a jack-o-lantern or as jolly as Santa Claus and his elves.

Perhaps Thanksgiving is often an afterthought because it's always been difficult to commercialize and that's kind of what Americans do best!  There are, of course, wonderful shared national traditions surrounding Thanksgiving: football, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the headaches of holiday travel, and the sleep-inducing feasting with family and friends.  Hallmark still makes Thanksgiving greeting cards and I'm sure there'll be some Thanksgiving images and greetings circulating in social media this week.

The imagery of Thanksgiving has always been about giving thanks for abundance: the abundance of a fruitful harvest and the abundance of joy and blessings as family gather together for Thanksgiving meals.  I thought that this week would be a nice time to highlight some early traditional images of the holiday from our postcard collections.

Postcard collecting is still a popular pastime among hobbyists and you'll see bins of postcards at many an antique shop.  The picture postcard reached the zenith of its popularity in the period between the turn of the century and the first World War.  Thanks to advances in color printing processes and in domestic and international mail services, it was an inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing form of communication for the general public.

There are several collections of postcards in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, including the Charles Shields Postcard and Trade Card Collections, the Clyde N. Bowden Postcard Collection, and the Charles Murphy Collection featuring postcards on public conveyances and railroads from around the world.  Among the subjects depicted in the estimated 500,000 postcards in these combined collections are geographic locations and architectural landmarks throughout the US and the world and the traditional greeting card images of people, animals, flowers, and holiday and seasonal images.  We've digitized our trade card collection and initial plans have been made to create a digital collection of our postcards, as well.

In looking through the hundreds of Thanksgiving themed postcards, I found many expected depictions of turkeys and cornucopias, pilgrims and Native Americans, most dated between 1900 and 1920.  What I was surprised by were the many comical depictions of children leading turkeys to slaughter!  There were also many patriotic images of flags and turkeys, which made me think of Benjamin Franklin's famous suggestion to his daughter in a letter dated 1784 that the turkey was a "more respectable Bird" than the bald eagle, in his opinion "a Bird of bad moral Character".

One of my personal favorites is this early depiction of the association between football and the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Kimberly Tully
Special Collections Librarian

By: Kate Lucey on: November 19, 2012 12:47 pm | luceyka

In his recent article “Games and  21st Century Standards—an Ideal Partnership,” library technology specialist Brian Mayer ties game-based education to the Common Core Standards. He primarily discusses how games lend themselves to the inquiry process now being emphasized in the curriculum. And depending on the type of game, “the inquiry process takes the course of the entire game, a single turn, or only moments”.

You’re in luck! The Instructional Materials Center (IMC), Ground Floor King holds dozens of games and interactive curriculum materials to extend learning: board games, puppets, a forensic kit, magic tricks.

Notes:  In the catalog, search on the Subject “Games” or the Keyword “Puppet,” then limit results to “IMC”. Also, we do not carry computer games.

Here’s a list of articles that outline many more possibilities in the game department:

To search for your own ideas, try using the Education Full Text database and searching the Subject term “Educational Games”.

Have fun!

By: Jason Paul Michel on: November 19, 2012 9:51 am | micheljp @jpmichel

On this day in 1863 on the Battlefield of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln gave one our country's most enduring and mythical speeches, the Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The significance of this speech is varied and far-reaching.  We have several books specifically about the speech as well as over a thousand books, movies and other resources dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln.

Check out some of these resources for Thanksgiving Break!

Ooh and check out this beautiful video honoring the iconic speech:

By: hartsea on: November 15, 2012 4:34 pm | hartsea

Do you know The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out in a month?  Are you making your plans to see it on opening night and listening to the soundtrack?

Another way to prepare is to re-read (or read for the first time) The Hobbit.  Luckily for you we have several copies of it:

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again. King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.T5744 Ho 1984

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H6 1982

The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H62 1966x

The Annotated Hobbit. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H6 2002

You can also find interesting books about The Hobbit:

The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull.  ArtArch | N6797.T64 H35 2012

The Hobbit: A Journey into Maturity by William H. Green.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H6 1995

The History of the Hobbit by John D. Rateliff.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H636 2007 

Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit by Corey Olsen.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H635 2012

J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by T.A. Shippey.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 Z8238 2001

We also have dvds of the Lord of the Rings trilogy films that you can watch.

Finally make sure to check out Special Collection's blog post earlier this year about the great things they have in their collection!

By: Jason Paul Michel on: November 14, 2012 9:24 am | micheljp @jpmichel

The Miami University Libraries are currently administering usability tests for certain aspects of the library web site. We are seeking undergraduate & graduate students as well as faculty members to help us with these tests. Participants will be asked to interact with library interfaces and their actions will help us create better user environments. The process will take approximately 30 minutes. We are offering $15 iTunes gift cards for participants. Those interested should send an email to Jason Paul Michel at

By: tullykk on: November 12, 2012 12:46 pm | tullykk

Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, is celebrated this week around the world, specifically in many nations in South Asia and in South Asian communities around the globe. Also known as Deepavali, this five day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, which is symbolized by the lighting of clay lamps which are placed outside one’s home. The lamps are often combined with decorative folk art designs, called Rangoli, drawn on floors and courtyards with colored rice, sand, and other traditional materials. Originally a harvest festival, the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, are also sought by the lighting of the Diwali lamps. Celebrations, which have regional variations, include family gatherings, fireworks, bonfires, and the sharing of sweets. In celebration of Diwali and the upcoming holiday season, the Libraries’ Diversity Cluster encourages you to learn more about this holiday and other holidays and festivals throughout the world.

Here are some sources to get you started:

The book of Hindu festivals and ceremonies / Om Lata Bahadur King Library (2nd floor) | BL1239.72 .B353 1994

The story of Divaali / retold by Jatinder Verma ; illustrated by Nilesh Mistry King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | BL1139.25 .V47 2002

Religious traditions in modern South Asia / Jacqueline Suthren Hirst and John Zavos King Library (2nd floor) | BL1055 .S88 2011

Invoking Lakshmi : the goddess of wealth in song and ceremony / Constantina Rhodes King Library (2nd floor) | BL1225.L32 R46 2010

Holiday symbols and customs : a guide / edited by Helene Henderson King Reference | GT3930 .T48 2009 | LIB USE ONLY

Encyclopedia of holidays and celebrations : a country-by-country guide / Matthew Dennis, editor King Reference | GT3930 .E53 2006 v.1-3 | LIB USE ONLY

Also, you might want to check out the Indian Students Association’s annual Diwali show, My Big Fat Indian Wedding, this Friday and Saturday. It's always a great production! For more details, click here.

By: tullykk on: November 12, 2012 9:58 am | tullykk

The annual Human Rights and Social Justice program at Miami University, “A Call to Action,” is a series of events Nov. 13-15 that help raise awareness about economic, social and cultural human rights violations locally and around the world. A special presentation on human trafficking and victim identification is organized by the Oxford League of Women Voters. For more information, please visit the facebook page for the program.

Consider reading or listening to readings on the following topics at the Human Rights and Social Justice Read-In:

2-4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, 212 MacMillan Hall
2 p.m.: “ A Call to Action”: Individual and collective readings;
3 p.m.: “Going to War and Coming Home:” Summer reading program, “Continuing the Dialogue” led by Jennifer Kinney and Nancy Arthur (members of the 2012 Summer Reading Program committee).

The second hour will include a reading from letters by Miami students, who were soldiers during our nation's historical conflicts, housed in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections in King Library.

By: hartsea on: November 05, 2012 11:39 am | hartsea

Folklore and fairy-tales scholar Jack Zipes will visit Miami University to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm's Household Tales in a guest lecture series, Nov. 7 and 8. His public lecture “A Second Glance at Red Riding Hood’s Trials and Tribulations” begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in 322 McGuffey and focuses on film adaptation of fairy tales. Zipes’s lectures will be accompanied by short films from recent movie adaptations. You can read more here.

If you want to prepare for this lecture, we have several resources you might be interested in checking out.

We have a fairy tale research guide that might be helpful.

We have books written by Jack Zipes:

The irresistible fairy tale: the cultural and social history of a genre.  King Library (2nd floor) | GR550 .Z59 2012

The enchanted screen: the unknown history of fairy-tale films. King Library (2nd floor) | PN1995.9.F34 Z57 2011

When dreams came true: classical fairy tales and their traditionKing Library (2nd floor) | PN3437 .Z57 2007

Breaking the magic spell: radical theories of folk and fairy tales.  King Library (2nd floor) | GR74 .Z56 2002

We also have collections of Brothers Grimm's tales and books about these tales:

The complete fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm translated and with an introduction by Jack Zipes. King Library (2nd floor) | PT921 .G628 2003

The annotated Brothers Grimm edited with a preface and notes by Maria Tatar.  King Library (2nd floor) | PT921 .K5613 2004

Tales and translation: the Grimm Tales from pan-Germanic narratives to shared international fairytales by Cay Dollerup.  King Library (2nd floor) | GR166 .D65 1999

The Reception of Grimms' fairy tales: responses, reactions, revisions edited by Donald Haase. King Library (2nd floor) | PT921 .R4 1993 

The brothers Grimm & their critics: folktales and the quest for meaning by Christa Kamenetsky. King Library (2nd floor) | PD63 .K36 1992 

You might also want to look for fairy tales in our Instructional Materials Center and in our Special Collections!

By: liechtep on: November 02, 2012 2:50 pm | liechtep

This fall marks the opening of B.E.S.T. Library’s newest service point, The Digital Den. This area, located directly behind the glass artwork in the lobby of B.E.S.T. Library, has 7 iMacs and 6 PCs, a 3D printer, and a 3D scanner. We also have a large format scanner, black and white printer, and an all-in-one copier/scanner/color printer. To better serve you with your technical questions, we’ve staffed this area with specialists capable of helping with ArcGIS projects, Adobe Creative Suite, iMovie, 3D Modeling, Microsoft Office Suite including Excel, and many of the general computer problems you may encounter. The Digital Den Help Desk is staffed Monday through Thursday, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-11pm.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the Digital Den is its commitment to 3D printing and scanning. The centerpiece of this new service is the MakerBot Replicator with dual head extruders capable of printing out 3D models rendered in ABS plastic (multiple colors available). This machine is able to print 3D objects from .STL files, Google Sketchup drawings and objects rendered in Maya. We are currently accepting print jobs in any of these formats, at a cost of $0.20 per gram of the finished project. We would be happy to answer any of your questions about 3D printing at either the Digital Den Help Desk or the B.E.S.T. Information Desk.

In addition to these services we also offer statistics help at our Statistics Help Desk. Geared for those needing assistance with statistics problems in their coursework, students are welcome to stop by, no appointment required, for help with course assignments but also assistance with stats software including Excel, JMP, SPSS, Minitab, R, and MATLAB. Hours for the Statistics Help Desk are:

Monday: 7pm-9pm
Tuesday: 10:30am-12:30pm and 6pm-8pm
Wednesday: 3:30pm-5:30pm
Thursday: 1pm-3pm

For more information on any of our new or existing services you can stop by the B.E.S.T. Library Information Desk during our normal business hours: Sunday 11am-Midnight, Monday –Thursday 7:30am-Midnight, Friday 7:30am-5pm, and Saturday 11am-6pm.